Number of department stores in England falls 25 percent in decade

3 June 2018 - Janet Bird

department store

England has lost a quarter of its department stores in the last decade, new research has revealed.

The study by peer-to-peer lending platform Lendy showed that the number of large department stores - described as multi-floor stores with clearly defined departments and in store franchise retailers - had fallen from 240 in 2009 to just 180 today.

The rise of online shopping is believed to be the main factor leading to the demise of the department store.

Many have also accumulated huge debt burdens - often through mergers and acquisitions - which are hampering their ability to invest in their online capacity and in improving their stores.

The high profile collapse of BHS in 2016 has been followed by tough times for a number of other department stores.

Debenhams, House of Fraser and Marks & Spencer have all endured torrid times of late. Debenhams is believed to be planning to downsize at least 30 stores, while House of Fraser recently announced its intention of entering a company voluntary agreement (CVA) in June, an agreement with creditors which allows companies to offload their underperforming stores and reduce rents in a bid to avoid entering administration. Marks & Spencer, meanwhile, is planning to close 100 stores by 2020.

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